from A Year With Rilke, transl. by Joanna Macy & Anita Barrows

Spring! And Earth is like a child
who has learned many poems by heart.
For the trouble of that long learning
she wins the prize.

Her teacher was strict. We loved the white
of the old man’s beard. Now we can ask her
the many names of green, of blue,
and she knows them, she knows them!

Earth, school is out now. You’re free
to play with the children. We’ll catch you,
joyous Earth. The happiest will catch you!

All that the teacher taught her – the many thoughts
pressed now into the roots and long
tough stems: she sings! She sings!

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